‘York’s housing crisis is making the city unaffordable. Here’s how we’d fix it’ – Labour
Labour has set out how it will work to address York’s housing crisis, which is making the city ‘increasingly unaffordable’.
The party has pledged to deliver 100% affordable homes on council-owned land as part of its manifesto for the May city council elections.
And it has promised to retrofit council houses and crack down on private landlords to improve cold, poor quality homes.
What Labour calls York’s “affordability crisis” means there are almost 1,200 people on the waiting list for social rented housing, while key workers like nurses and teachers and younger people see little prospect of finding a decent, affordable York home to live in.
Labour’s housing spokesperson, Cllr Michael Pavlovic, said: “The council is currently losing around 60 affordable homes each year to right-to-buy rules, most of which the council hasn’t replaced.
“When factoring in new affordable homes built by others, the city has lost over 70 affordable homes over the last decade as the city becomes increasingly unaffordable year after year.
“The current Liberal Democrat Party-Green council has decided to use council land to develop and sell hugely expensive Passivhaus homes on the private market for as much as £500,000, aimed at attracting buyers from outside York.
“The problem is, when this land has gone, it’s gone and the council cannot go and start developing affordable homes elsewhere. Under Labour there’ll be a sea change with a priority to provide for existing York residents by switching current plans to developing 100% affordable homes through a mixture of discounted rental homes and part-buy homes.
“We’ll do this in partnership with housing associations to co-develop homes in helping to meet the challenge of addressing York’s chronic affordability crisis.
“Our proposals would see key workers like nurses, care workers, teachers and fire service workers given first opportunities to benefit from these homes so they can live where they work rather than contend with lengthy, tiring commutes into and out of work.”
By diverting money from Passivhaus homes to less expensive housing, Labour said it would free up cash to invest in “the retrofitting of existing council homes that’s so desperately needed”.
And they pledge to “ensure the private sector is properly regulated so standards can be improved”.
Cllr Pavlovic said: “Decent, warm housing is the bedrock of a person’s good health and happiness, and we need to ensure that falling below this standard is no longer deemed acceptable.
“Our aim is using all our powers to deliver decent quality, affordable homes that give all our residents some hope that York is somewhere they can live and flourish in the future.”